Economy

Obamacare Faces Unprecedented Test as Economy Sinks

So Ms. Childers, 30, signed up for Cobra, which lets laid-off workers stay on their former employer’s health plan for 18 months under federal law, but requires them to pay the full cost unless the employer chooses to help. She is paying $560 a month — substantially more than a subsidized plan would cost at her income level, and an amount she will not be able to afford for long. She has several autoimmune conditions, and without insurance, would owe at least $3,000 a month just for her oral medications; she also gets regular infusions that cost even more.

“If my unemployment runs out and I don’t have a job,” she said, “I don’t know what I’ll do.”

In contrast, most of the 13 states that operate their own A.C.A. marketplaces not only opened enrollment to everyone during the pandemic, but worked hard to publicize the option. In California, where

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Pandemic to Cost U.S. Economy $7.9 Trillion Over 10 Years

A new analysis of 172 studies, funded by the World Health Organization, confirmed what scientists have said for months: N95 and other respirator masks are far superior to surgical or cloth masks in protecting essential medical workers against the coronavirus.

The results, published on Monday in The Lancet, make it clear that the W.H.O. and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should recommend that essential workers like nurses and emergency responders wear N95 masks, not just surgical masks, experts said.

“It’s been disappointing that both the W.H.O. and the C.D.C. have suggested that surgical masks are adequate, and they’re clearly not,” said David Michaels, a professor at George Washington University who headed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration under President Barack Obama.

“Reliance on surgical masks has no doubt led to many workers being infected.”

N95 masks

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